In January 2023 Meta was hit with a €395 million fine from regulators in the European Union, European Economic Area, and Switzerland related to the way the company gathers users’ data to feed them advertisements.
The company has responded by offering an ad-free version for both applications for a fee.
Beginning in November, Meta will offer users the option to pay €9.99 per month to have no ads shown to them, and therefore no personal data gathered.
Users on Apple or Android devices will pay €12.99 a month because Apple and Google take a cut.
In its announcement, Meta stated, “We respect the spirit and purpose of these evolving European regulations, and are committed to complying with them.”
Users who don’t wish to pay for ads will continue as normal with ads being served to them based on search results.
If a user doesn’t know why they are being served an ad they can click on a “Why am I seeing this?” link to edit their preferences for future ads.
The paid subscription was approved by regulators as a viable alternative to the company’s data-gathering practices.
X recently announced a similar plan to charge visitors €16 per month to opt out of all ads.
Meta has struggled this year with European regulators.
After the January fine, the company was fined a record €1.2 Billion in May 2023 for failing to ensure that all personal data gathered remained on servers housed within the EU.
These decisions come after years of escalating arguments between software companies, governmental regulators, and the politics between the EU and the United States.